Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON - Brace yourselves for higher medical insurance costs that will hit young and old alike as a result of President Obama's nationalized health-care mandates.

Younger, healthier people, many of whom voted for him in droves, will see their insurance premiums climb sharply as Obamacare demands that insurers provide them with more medical coverage than they want or need.

Older Americans and retirees are already seeing a steep rise in their insurance bills, too. And businesses great and small are either curtailing their employee health care plans or dropping them entirely in anticipation of rising costs.

Many seniors who have supplemental policy plans -- that pay 20 percent of the medical bills Medicare does not -- have seen their premiums rise this year.

In California, Blue Shield is seeking state approval to raise its premiums by up to 20 percent, saying that federal mandates under Obamacare was a factor in their request.

Obama and White House officials (where taxpayers foot the bills for a generous health care plan) refuse to acknowledge any of this is happening across the country.

"Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health-care costs," Obama boasted in his State of the Union address last week.

"Apart from the fact that the statement is untrue, the line will be a real howler next year, especially for the young people who so enthusiastically supported him," writes veteran health care analyst Grace Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute think tank.

Obama has made outlandish promises for his health care plan since he began selling it in his 2008 presidential campaign. That's when he promised his plan would "bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family" by the end of his first four years in office.

Four years later, "health insurance isn't any cheaper," writes Sally Pipes, president and CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, in Forbes magazine.

"In fact, it's more expensive. Premiums have increased by an average of $3,065. And they're about to go up even more, as Obamacare takes effect during the president's second term," Pipes says.

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna -- the nation's third largest health insurance company -- warned at the end of 2012 that Americans will face a "premium rate shock" when the president's tidal wave of regulations kick in next year.

Bertolini predicts unsubsidized insurance premiums will shoot up by 20 to 50 percent, on average.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.